Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tech Tuesday: How does Honeycomb taste? Part 2

Gotta love the speed of Android.  Last week I gave you a quick tour around Android 3.0 and today I've already upgraded to Android 3.1!  It's very similar but it has a lot more under-the-hood enhancements.  Google has added resizable widgets, input device support (USB Keyboard and Mouse), and Joystick and Game controller support (to use an Xbox 360 controller to play your games).

App Switcher


The app switcher and multitasking are what really separates Android from iOS.  This is the key to multitasking on a Honeycomb tablet.  When you hit the app switch button (the third button of the buttons on the Menu Bar), it displays the App Switcher you see in the picture to the right.  This is a scrolling view (in 3.1) of all your recently used apps.  This is the fastest way to switch between any app you want without dropping back to the home screen. The transition is very smooth and it's a very convenient way to navigate between your tasks.



Web Browser

One of the best uses of a tablet is for web browsing, and boy does Android do it right.  This is the real web.  Just as good as browsing on your desktop or laptop.  Complete with support for Flash videos and animations and even games.  It's the "real" web (Not that you can disable Flash as well or set it to On Demand where it will only load the items you want).  The browser is very much like Chrome on the desktop. You have all your tabs at the top to easily switch between pages.  In the settings you can chose to tell websites you are a tablet, a phone or even a desktop so that you can see different versions of websites if you don't like the mobile versions.  I also love the fact that I can download any file I want or even upload anything I want.  When I was on my iPhone I was always frustrated with the fact that there was no downloading of attachments or files from websites.  With the Honeycomb browser it's very easy to look up a file, download it, then open it in any app, send it in an Email, or to Dropbox, or even over bluetooth to a nearby device.  There's not much to sell here other than the fact that it's a very complete experience.

Apps


The rest of Honeycomb is really the apps.  I mean, that's why we buy these new gadgets, isn't it?  So I'll have more on those later.

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